For the first part of Friday night’s homecoming game, the Tehachapi Warriors looked as strong as they have all season. Unfortunately, an inconsistent effort combined with a disastrous second half would be the undoing in a 56-12 loss to Bakersfield Christian.
“Our guys played so well the first half, but we didn’t take the opportunities on their turnovers and score and they did, and that was really the difference in the first half,” said Tehachapi head coach Doug DeGeer. “Second half, we just didn’t execute when we needed to execute … good teams are consistent throughout and we’re still trying to do that.”
Tehachapi has lost four straight, falling to 1-6 on the season and 0-2 in the South Yosemite League.
Tehachapi scored just 2:07 into the game as Hayden Palmer started his night off with a pair of quality runs capping the drive with a 27-yard touchdown scamper and an early 6-0 THS lead. As would be the case all evening, however, Bakersfield Christian would respond quickly, this time less than a minute later as quarterback Jake Maran found Myran Randle for a 40-yard touchdown pass and a 7-6 edge.
The Eagles would take a 14-6 lead following a Tehachapi punt and a four-yard touchdown pass to Randle once again. Tehachapi, however, responded as well, when Chris Garcia capped a drive with a five-yard touchdown run to pull Tehachapi within two points after a failed conversion.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, that’s as close as they would get. After the Eagles scored on a Jake Moran four-yard touchdown run to take a 21-12 lead, Tehachapi was unable to capitalize on a pair of turnovers by the Eagles as both Trent Adams and Carson Caudle came up with interceptions to stifle BCHS drives.
The Warriors' failure to put points on the board or keep the ball out of the pass-heavy Eagles’ offense resulted in one more score before the half as Randle recorded his third touchdown reception of the half from 10 yards out with 16 seconds left. The Eagles led 28-12 at the break.
Bakersfield Christian didn’t wait long in the second half to get on the board either as Keonte Glinton caught a 19-yard pass from Maran for a 35-12 lead. Any chance for a Warriors comeback was quickly stifled just minutes later.
After officials warned both teams about altercations after the whistle, Tehachapi quarterback Chris Garcia was ejected after appearing to throw a punch at a defender following an incomplete pass. After a Tehachapi punt, on the first defensive play from scrimmage starting offensive and defensive tackle Logan Smith was penalized and ejected for the same reason.
“Frustrating, life’s not fair and the refs are going to see certain things a certain way. I definitely didn’t see things that way,” DeGeer said. “I saw their guys doing just as many things as the guys on our side but yet we’re the ones that got dinged for it.”
“We don’t blame the refs for the game. They weren’t the ones that fumbled the ball or turned the ball over or got shut down, that was all on us,” DeGeer said.
Both Smith and Garcia will be unable to play Friday against Golden Valley per CIF rules.
Without a true backup quarterback, the Warriors struggled as a pair of snaps were either high or mishandled and recovered in the end zone for Eagles touchdowns. Tehachapi also lost a fumble on a handoff on a third drive. Along with the fumble recoveries for scores, Tate Eeningenburg scored for BCHS on an 11-yard touchdown run.
The Warriors were led on the ground by Hayden Palmer who continues to recover from an injury.
“He ran well. We didn’t know if we were going to have him tonight and he came out and just powered down the field,” DeGeer said. “He was definitely the driving force behind a lot of the positivity we had on offense.”
Tehachapi will be on the road for the next two weeks, traveling to Golden Valley on Oct. 12 and then Ridgeview on Oct. 19. The Warriors' final home game will be Friday, Oct. 26 against West High School.
The Braves improved to 2-0 in the South Yosemite League with a 28-21 win over Bakersfield Christian. For the second time in as many weeks it would be late heroics to lead Tehachapi.
Max Meza recorded his second interception in as many weeks, this time to preserve a seven-point lead late in the fourth quarter to secure the win for the Braves. Malik McClendon, Luke Debruyne and quarterback Jacob Tye all had first-half rushing touchdowns for Tehachapi.
The Braves scored last in the first half to take a 28-14 lead at halftime, they then scored five minutes into the third quarter on a 28-yard Tyler O’Brien run and McClendon two-point conversion. BCHS scored with nine seconds left in the third to pull within 28-21. Tehachapi came up with two critical defensive stops late, first a Dylan Seimon tackle at the line of scrimmage on fourth and one which resulted in a turnover on downs and Meza’s interception in the final minutes.
Tehachapi plays at Golden Valley next week at 5 p.m.
The Indians recorded their first win of the season defeating Delano’s Robert F. Kennedy High School 24-6 on Thursday in a non-league game.
Sam Orellana scored all four touchdowns for the Indians, the first coming from 73 yards, the second an 80-yard punt return, the third a 77-yard run and the final an 80-yard touchdown run.
Tehachapi returns to South Yosemite League action on Thursday as they travel to Golden Valley at 5 p.m.